Tesla has continued to absolutely floor it, with revenue in its 2022 first quarter outpacing last year’s by seven times. But according to recent comments by CEO Elon Musk, vehicles might not be Tesla’s chief breadwinner for long.
In an earnings call with investors, Musk referenced an in-development robot that he believes will be worth more than Tesla’s car business as soon as 2023.
The humanoid robot in question stands at 5 foot 8 and is named Optimus. Tesla first unveiled the robot in August of 2021, though the big reveal was largely panned when observers noted the “robot” was actually a person in a spandex suit.
Not to be deterred, Musk says he was “surprised” that nobody understood the scale of the Optimus development project, and hinted at a slate of products coming next year specific to the platform. Musk believes the bot is best designed for boring, repetitive everyday tasks, like grocery shopping, and reportedly runs on Tesla’s neural networks and Dojo advanced supercomputer.
According to Musk, “The importance of Optimus will become apparent in the coming years. Those who are insightful or looking, listening carefully, will understand that Optimus will ultimately be worth more than the car business, worth more than (full self driving).”
Is this reality? Musk has been known for his aggressive predictions and a track record for beating expectations… but on his own timeline. We know he can deliver in the end, but what we don’t know is how soon and at what scale.